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Earthquake Intensity Increasing, People Should Re-check Their House Construction

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Earthquake intensity in Indonesia keeps increasing. To reduce the number of victims following earthquakes, people should recheck their house construction, whether appropriate to endure the earthquake or not. In Yogyakarta and Central Java, at least 300 thousands houses do not meet the standard.

“The history of the construction is needed in order to have more information about the house, whether it has concrete frame and whether repair is necessary,” said the lecturer of Architectural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, UGM, Dr. Ir. Ikaputra, M.Sc., commenting on the fact that many houses in Indonesia are not earthquake-resistant, Monday (26/10), at UGM.

He said that the history of the construction is very important, because mostly Indonesians do not use architect and constructor services, although this does not guarantee that the house will stand the earthquake. Sometimes public housing which uses architect and constructor services is damaged, too, but this is because the contractors have manipulated the materials during construction.

Ikaputra suggested that people, especially in the areas where earthquakes never occur, should be given knowledge about buildings which can endure earthquakes to a certain scale.

One of the tips to check the house whether earthquake-resistant or not is to tap on the wall to know if it contains concrete. “Tap on the building corner, if it produces the same sound with that of walls, it means there is no frame inside. If a nail is put on, and the nail gets bent, it means the inside is concrete,” explained Ikaputra.

He does not agree if a house should be symmetrical or asymmetrical to define the earthquake resistance. The important thing is that the construction should be appropriate with the standard in architecture and civil engineering.